Basel (ots) - Tobacco or Health. This is not a question but a
revelation. Each year, over 5 million people globally die from the
consequences of active and passive tobacco consumption - over 650 000
people in the European Union alone. About 8 000 people die per year
in Switzerland as a consequence.
What are the European governments doing to keep the population
from smoking and to protect them against passive smoking? Which are
the successful strategies? Who is leading by setting a good example
and who is lagging behind?
The answers to these questions are provided in a study: "The
tobacco control scale: ranking and comparison of the tobacco control
policies of 30 European countries (2005 - 2007)". The study was
commissioned by the cancer league of Switzerland for the 4th European
"Tobacco or Health" conference 2007 and presented by the Belgian
tobacco control expert Luk Joossens at the media conference on
Thursday, 11 October 2007.
Only four countries - Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland and Norway -
scored 65 or more points out of 100. Austria, Luxembourg, Greece and
Germany were last in the rankings. Compared to 2005, the host country
increased its score by 12 points and now ranks in position 18, just
inside the lower middle ranks. Tobacco control measures were
increased and health warnings and measures to break the habit were
"In Switzerland, the acceptance of a different approach to tobacco
is a given", insists Dr. Thomas Zeltner, director of the Federal
Health Department. However due to a National Council decision last
week to water down the law on the protection against passive smoking,
no improvement is expected to the current situation.
The limitations on tobacco advertising remain minimal and
cigarette prices are cheap compared to other countries. "In
Switzerland, cigarettes are easier to obtain than basic foodstuffs",
says Thomas Cerny, president of the Swiss cancer league.
The conference addresses topical questions and enables different
countries to share experiences. The topics cover a wide field. They
range from the implementation of the WHO framework convention on
tobacco control, via passive smoking, product regulation and the
influence of the tobacco industry, up to tobacco consumption by women
and preventive programs for schools.
"Unfortunately, the signing and ratification of the framework
convention on tobacco control is not sufficient", says Cora Honing,
president of the association of European cancer leagues. The
implementation of the proposed measures continues to be a major
challenge. The 4th European "Tobacco or Health" Conference 2007 is
meant to make an important contribution in this respect.
Find all relevant information (program, fact sheets, media
communiqués, photo's, etc.) on the media.ectoh07.org website,
available in German, French, Italian and English.
ots Orginaltext: Krebsliga Schweiz
Media spokesperson ECToH 07